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How To Choose The Right LED Light Bulbs

Author£ºAdmin Hit£º189 Time£º2012/5/7 12:01:31

LED light bulbs are one of the most widely varying types of bulb on the market. With a wide selection of choices regarding colour, brightness, power and viewing angles, it’s important to take a moment to consider your lighting needs, to make sure you choose the most suitable LED light bulbs for your needs. It is important to have a basic understanding of terms such as wattage and lumens, and to be aware of issues such as connection and fitting types, and how viewing angles may greatly affect the way in which your LED lights work.

Wattage is the measurement of electricity, or power. The more watts a light bulb consumes, the more power it consumes. This is important because the more power a bulb uses, the more expensive it costs to run, because you’re paying for all that power! Up until now you’ve probably associated power with brightness, being aware that a 100 watt bulb will light your room far more brightly than a 40 watt bulb. This has always been true for filament bulbs and halogen bulbs, but with LED lights it’s quite different.

The reason that LED light bulbs are different is simply down to the fact that they are vastly more efficient, using much less power, yet still able to provide as much lighting as you need, or are used to. LED lights are typically rated from 1 watt to 5 watts, which is in stark contrast from the levels of power you may be used to. If you’re using filament bulbs then you may well be using anything from a 40 watt bulb to a 100 watt bulb; even if you’re using halogen bulbs, which are more efficient, you may still be using anything from 25 watts to 50 watts. LED lights are much more efficient, and a 5 watt LED bulb is likely to give you the same amount of brightness as a 35 watt halogen bulb, or a 60 watt filament bulb. Since your bulbs are providing just as much light, but for far less power, it’s worth bearing in mind that whatever kind of LED light you choose, you will be saving money on running costs.

The term lumens is simply another way of talking about the level of brightness. The greater the lumens, the greater the brightness. It’s also helpful to be aware that the level of brightness achieved per watt helps to identify a bulb’s efficiency. So the more lumens per watt, the more efficient a bulb is. But with LED lights it’s not just about lumens or brightness. Standard filament or incandescent bulbs generate light in a complete 360 degree radius, spilling light into every corner. You don’t always want this, especially in places such as kitchens, bathrooms, desks or reading corners. LED bulbs generate a high level of brightness, or lumens, for very little power, or wattage. But they are also focussed lights, meaning that they focus a cone of light at a specific area. Some LED light bulbs have a wide focus, directing light at a broad area, whereas others may create a fairly tight beam which directs light at a smaller, more defined area.

This level of focus, or lighting angle, is important. When you are choosing an LED light it will be important to know how it will be used and where it will be installed. If you are fitting bulbs in a display cabinet, you may require a very tightly focused beam of light directed at a single item on display. For a reading corner, bedside lamp or desk you may need a slightly wider cone of light, and for kitchens or bathrooms, wider still. The advantage is that almost 100% of the light being generated by the LED bulb is directed exactly where you need it, rather than being wasted, diluted and scattered everywhere. Often this means that whereas a 100 watt filament bulb or a 50 watt halogen bulb was needed, a much lower wattage LED bulb is required because all of the light is right where it’s needed. In many kitchens householders have previously installed two or three high wattage bulbs, overlapping them to create a bright work surface area. By using appropriately fitted LED light bulbs it is often possible to reduce 200-300 watts of light down to less than 10 watts. This represents a significant saving on fuel bills, as well as being much kinder to the environment.

Another factor to be aware of are the fittings for bulbs. If you currently have fittings for either halogen or LED light bulbs it will be necessary to identify whether they are for 100-240 volt connections, or 12 volt connections. There are generally two main types of connections - a fairly chunky one, called a GU10, and a thinner, smaller connection known as either an MR16 or a GU5.3. Make sure you know which connection you need. Once you know the connection, have a clear idea where your LED light bulbs will be installed, and what level and focus of light you need, then it’s time to look around at the wide variety of LED lights and fittings available.

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